My letter is of particular importance for consideration by my Guyanese sisters and brothers. I am fully aware that the Alliance for Change (AFC) is making remarkable progress in getting its message across to the Guyanese people and in particular, to the young people who would be voting for the first time and whose votes would be the deciding factor in the upcoming elections.
Given all the brilliant minds that Guyana has produced, why is it that we remain a lost people in search of a new home, mainly in North America. The answer is very simple, we have not had the right leadership prior to and following Independence. We have had good leaders in the past but unfortunately they were preoccupied with self interest. Hence, they divided the country racially and no serious attempt has been made by anyone subsequently to heal this division between the various race groups resulting in Guyana maintaining its status as a backward country with backward leaders.
Mr. Jagdeo as a young man had the golden opportunity of succeeding in bringing the people together to develop this country following the last election as he was not part of the destructive elements of the past but he failed miserably and would go down in history as the worst leader in Guyana’s history. Dr. Jagan was an honorable man and certainly not a dictator. Mr. Jagdeo grew up during Mr. Burnham’s reign and hence, he has been emulating some of the negative attributes of Forbes Burnham. Unfortunately, Mr. Jagdeo is politically naïve and devoid of Mr. Burnham’s intellect. Mr. Jagdeo is very good at ‘cussing out’ and trying to humiliate Guyanese. He truly lacks the dignity of a President.
We must remember that the PPP/C did not win the election in 1992; the PNC lost that election as we wanted change, given the atrocities of the PNC. The fall of the Berlin Wall had a cascading effect and the US decided to do the honorable thing and facilitated free and fair elections. Because of Dr. Jagan’s inviting personality Guyana had the glorious opportunity of rising from the dead but he was aging and did not have the strength to satisfy the needs of Guyana. The intellectual minds that supported him in the 60’s had disappeared to other shores, namely Balram Singh Rai, Sir Fenton Ramsahoye and others who were not communists. He was then stuck with the bankrupt and corrupt intellect of the cabal in Freedom House.
I certainly remember when it took over two hours to travel by road to the Cheddi Jagan Airport from Georgetown because of the poor state of the road, so there has been some progress made since 1992 but the corruption under the Jagdeo’s presidency is unprecedented and phenomenal. Look at the economic well-being of the Jagdeo clan and judge for yourselves. I recall when one minister was a taxi driver just before he was adopted by the PPP/C and take a careful look at what he owns now. He has now left his party and joined the PPP/C’s cabal. Open your eyes and look at the homes in Pradoville 1, and in particular, the first one on the right painted blue. Look at the mansion that Mr. Jagdeo is building at Pradoville 2. Calculate the cost of erecting such a building against his salary as President. We are not all as gullible as you think Mr. President.
Donald Ramotar said that he will follow the policies of Jagdeo. So where are we really going? The retention of Sam Hinds is only temporary. Sam Hinds will resign shortly and Robert Persaud or Jagdeo will become Prime Minister. Jagdeo will not let go of power easily and hence, he did not want Ralph Ramkarran or Moses Nagamootoo as the presidential candidate as they have minds of their own and he would not be able to manipulate these two gentlemen. Donald Ramotar and the others will do as Jagdeo says as they lack the intellect to think for themselves. Wake up Guyana.
Some of us cannot think outside of the box of the PPP/C and PNC (APNU). We need to put Guyana first and foremost in our minds. The AFC has honest and capable leaders without criminal pasts and is the best option for Guyana. The names of Khemraj Ramjattan, Raphael Trotman, Moses Nagamootoo, Cathy Hughes etc; certainly give me hope for the future of Guyana and all Guyanese. It is the only political party in the upcoming elections without a negative past. Our young people need jobs so vote for change. It is important to mention that I am not a member of any political party but Guyana is my home.
A Concerned Guyanese
OCTOBER 31, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER EDITORIAL
The Office of the President (OP) has responded to the claim made by Khemraj Ramjattan of the Alliance for Change (AFC) that President Jagdeo will be receiving a pension of $3 million per month.
The release from OP dubbed Mr Ramjattan “a compulsive liar” and claimed in turn that Mr Jagdeo will actually be receiving, “about one-third of that amount” – meaning about $1 million per month.
As best as we can verify, the statement from OP is technically correct – but only when the word “pension” is interpreted most narrowly and confine it to the monetary portion of the pension.
But this narrow definition is more notable for what it omits as what it states. There are sins of omission as well as sins of commission. First, we have to point out that the monetary payment is tax free: an ordinary citizen that earns that princely sum would have to part with $333,000 as taxes.
Then we have to include the benefits as enumerated by the “Former Presidents (Benefits and Other Facilities) Act No. 12”, which was passed in the first quarter of 2009 – under Jagdeo’s watch, we should note. These all obviously have a monetary value.
First, there is the “payment of water, electricity and telephone bills”. With the massive open air swimming pool that has to be cleaned and emptied rather frequently, the lawn that has to be watered and the other uses for water, we can conservatively estimate the water bill to be about $50,000 monthly.
Then there’s the electricity. Even when Amaila Falls come on stream, for a mansion the size of the Pradoville property, including the installed air conditioning and floodlights, we’re talking about another $300,000 monthly. Telephone bills for a man with Jagdeo’s international connections could easily run in another $100,000.
Next we move on to, “Services of personal and household staff including but not limited to an attendant and gardener”. Another $250,000 monthly? Remember he’ll need drivers for his vehicles – see below. What about “Services of an unspecified number of clerical and technical staff”? $400,000?
“Free medical treatment or reimbursement of medical expenses incurred by the (Presidents) for their own treatment or treatment of dependents” can easily run us another $200,000 monthly, since we know that individuals like the President will not be going to GHPC.
We can chalk up another $200,000 for “Full-time personal security and services of the Presidential Guard Service at their place of residence”. But it is the “The provision of a (unspecified) number of motor vehicles owned and maintained by the State” that takes the cake.
Jagdeo is used to moving around in Land Cruisers, Mercedes and BMW’s – and we note the plural nature of the “motor vehicles” to be made available. $500,000 monthly?
We’ve reached the additional $2 million that tops up the acknowledged $1 million cash payment to reach the claimed $3 million. And we have not even mentioned the “Annual vacation allowance equivalent to the cost of two first class return airfares”.
But with all the ostentatious demands on the public purse to the conservative estimate of $3 million per month, none displayed the mentality of Jagdeo more than this benefit he insisted on inserting into the legislation: “Toll free road transportation in Guyana”.
After benefits amounting to $3 million monthly, he still cannot pay road tolls? Berbician cannot walk across the Berbice Bridge; they have been denied waiving of the toll for schoolchildren, but an individual with $3 million in his pockets every month, gets a free pass?
In this editorial we have not touched upon the crucial point that was sought to be established in the debate surrounding the President’s pension: the comparison of the Presidents benefits with those of an ordinary pensioner.
The argument made is that Guyana, being a poor country, cannot afford more than $7500 monthly for the latter. So how do we justify $3 million monthly for the President? Surely we want our retired Presidents to live in dignity but is there no correlation with our means?
Ok so few months ago Bharrat Jagdeo said Wikileaks was BS and told Guyanese to ignore them, that the American don’t know what they are talking about, but all of a sudden to drum up fear in the nation as usual, he quote Wikileaks to the people in Bartica to get his racial point across.
President Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday brushed aside concerns about the image of Guyana as a country heading for narco-statehood and his administration appearing unwilling to fight the drug trade.
Confidential United States diplomatic cables recently released by the whistleblowing site, Wikeleaks, saw the then American Ambassador Roland Bullen weighing in on the reasons why an office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was not yet opened in Guyana.
Speaking with Demerara Waves Online News ( www.demwaves.com ), Jagdeo relied on what he said was the United States’ refusal to confirm that the communication are American diplomatic cables.
He said his presidency and the country’s profile would be unaffected by Wikileaks’ revelations.
“If I allow an American ambassador’s view to put a damper on my feeling or my image, then I wouldn’t be fit to run this country. This is their opinion about what is taking place in Guyana,” he said.
Against the background of Bullen telling Washington that Guyana was heading for narco-statehood and government was lukewarm to the narco-fight, Jagdeo dismissed such assertions and questioned the credibility.
“I just want it to come out because it’s interesting to see ambassadors’ perspectives… I find a lot of amusing; it is like ambassadors speaking, their opinion, nothing is substantiated so I’m looking forward to more fun with Wikileaks, “ he said.
However to scare Guyanese Jagdeo is referencing the same Wikileaks to drive fear in the nation, and keep that racial divide alive and well, since a racially divided Guyana only benefits PPP.
The president cautioned Barticians against voting for the opposition, saying they have a track-record of supporting and having links with criminal gangs like those that killed 12 persons in Bartica on February 17, 2008.
“The very famous Wikileaks said that the PNC had its hand in what took place in terrorizing the people in Buxton and those same individuals were part of the killings here in Bartica. Are we going to allow those people to ever run our country? Are we going to allow them to get the reins of power here in Guyana,” he said
My name is Frederick Kissoon, Minister Rohee. As a social analyst with both the print and electronic media (have been so since 1988), I have to engage in mainstream journalism, particularly the investigative aspects. My journalistic investigations, Mr. Rohee, revealed that there is an unpleasant reason why you could not receive an American visa (any type, both non-immigrant and diplomatic) for six months. Can you please, tell the media and the Guyanese people why you could not?
I am kindly asking you to do so and will insist that you do so, because you are asking my fellow Guyanese to vote for you. That brings into the picture an enormous obligation to be forthright with the citizens of this country. If you cannot fulfill your obligation to us then, Mr. Rohee, I believe that you should resign from public life immediately. Before I move off this topic, I call upon you once more to offer the reason why you could not receive any type of American visa for six continuous months.
I know the reason, Mr. Rohee. Please do not force me to disclose it publicly. Even if the newspapers do not want to print my knowledge of this particular episode, I will do so at the public meeting that is scheduled for this evening at Stabroek Market Square under the umbrella of the Committee for Human Rights and Free and Fair Elections. I am listed as one of the speakers. I am giving you up to 17.00 hours to inform the nation.
I have another question, but it is not as searching as my visa curiosity. Here we go, Mr. Rohee. I have been told (and I could be wrong; my source is not mediocre but I will publicly apologize if I am not correct) that you are into business and may be an investor in a seawall venture. I don’t know if you are. Nothing is wrong with a Minister having business interests. Do you have such interests, Mr. Rohee?
I hope you know, Mr. Rohee, that I am merely doing my job as a media practitioner. I think you will agree that I have a readership and I have an obligation to them to interpret the news for them. This is what columnists do.
Let me move on to your reaction to Moses Nagamootoo. No politician can be that comical to say what you uttered about Mr. Nagamootoo. You are quoted in demerarawaves.com as describing Mr. Nagamootoo in the following way; “I am also saying that he doesn’t seem to have any principles, because a person with principles stays in the family.”
Are you serious, Mr. Rohee? Are you for real, Mr. Rohee? Don’t you know that you will appear comical to all those who read this particular fulmination of yours about Mr. Nagamootoo?
Which family are you talking about Mr. Rohee? Someone with intellectual reach should have warned you about the epistemological basis of words. I don’t think you should have used the word “family.” In the Guyanese political context, it has a foul meaning. As a matter of fact, in mainstream journalism, the word is often used to portray mafia connections.
It would have been better if you had said; “an organization he was a biological part of,” but surely not “family.”
Why do you think, Mr Rohee, that the Department of Justice in the US granted permanent stay to Captain Clarke who faced trial for cocaine trafficking?
Well, Mr. Rohee, it seems that you have no other option than to ask your boss (Hey, wasn’t he in napkins when you, Moses, Ralph Ramkarran and others were leading the PPP’s fight against Burnham’s dictatorship? How come, Mr. Jagdeo is now senior to you?), Mr. Jagdeo, to terminate the employment of Odinga Lumumba. He jumped from the PNC into Mr. Jagdeo’s lap. I guess Kwame Mc Coy has to go too. He jumped from the PNC into Mr. Jagdeo’s lap too. Manniram Prashad was also with the PNC.
So I guess you will have to get rid of Joseph Hamilton and Dr. Emmanuel Cummings because they were in the PNC. Before I go, Mr. Rohee, I would advise you not to say anything further during the election campaign. You are making the PPP look like a circus. I suppose you would say that Mr. Jagdeo is doing that more than you. Well, it’s two of you.
Jagdeo is critical to the 2011 PPP election campaign simply because of his immunity from prosecution because he is Executive President. The president can lie and libel with impunity since he cannot be dragged in front of the court, so he will say whatever lies he likes, and can slander all from the opposition. Jagdeo is the main mouth piece of the PPP, Donald Ramotar is only quiet until he can get that protection, then all will see how his mouth can run, until then Jagdeo will be the most vocal person for PPP during this election.
Under the theme “Working for a Better Tomorrow”, the PPP/C Manifesto for the 2011 elections is a mix of distortions, mistruths and misrepresentations, wishful thinking or no thinking at all.
The two-page introduction, written by the Presidential candidate Mr. Donald Ramotar seems signally disconnected from the rest of the 43-page document.
Not content with the half-true contents of the Manifesto, Mr. Jagdeo, the PPP/C’s presidential candidate for the past two elections showed that he still does not believe that truth is a virtue. His capacity for inventiveness, make-belief and contempt for the intelligence of his audience guaranteed that he authored the most astounding lie of the Manifesto launch night when he told the audience that the PPP/C Government had only just paid off a US$300 million loan for the PNC’s failed Hydropower project!
Not only was it deception for the Manifesto to choose 1991 as its reference point when the PPP/C was in fact elected in the fourth quarter of 1992, but some of the selected information both then and now are fictitious and or fabricated.
GPL line loss was not 50% in 1991 nor is it less than 30% now (Page 13). GuySuCo does not produce 30 MW of bagasse power at Skeldon – a Wartsila diesel powered engine does –, and the current external debt is not “approximately US$800 million” – unless for the economist Mr. Ramotar and his economic team say that US$800 million and US$1,111 million are “approximately” the same!
The Manifesto boasts of the growth of the economy over the past nineteen years. It does not bother with the inconvenience that a substantial portion of the growth comes from the re-basing of the economy in 2009, an exercise which even a half-decent economist knows makes long-term comparisons meaningless.
Of course it would have been too honest to expect the Manifesto to tell us that the exchange rate of the US Dollar has sunk 65% since 1992; or that the domestic debt has climbed from $18 billion in 1992 to $103 billion at June 30, 2011; or that the cost of electricity was $12 compared with $54 per KW currently; or that greenheart was $85 per board metre compared with $350 now.
Jagdeo and now Ramotar repeat ad nauseum that 96% of revenues was consumed in servicing debt “when they took over”, and it is now four per cent. They should read the 1993 Budget Speech in which the first PPP/C Finance Minister Asgar Ally referred to “scheduled debt service obligation” and not actual debt servicing. And if they look at the 2010 revised figures, they will see that debt-servicing to revenue is not four per cent but 13.3%.
What is also striking is that Mr. Ramotar’s ‘vision’ for the next five years does not add a single new idea to the corruption-laden projects of Jagdeo’s last term. So we have:
1. the expensive and untested Chinese laptops that will run us into billions of dollars;
2. the Amaila hydropower project which will earn us the award for the most expensive hydropower in the world, guaranteeing that electricity rates will remain prohibitively high;
3. the tourism hospital which Jagdeo and his friend will import from India;
4. the Low Carbon Development Strategy that is neither low in carbon nor developmental in nature; and
5. the fibre-optic cable.
Ramotar shows a dangerously limited understanding of democracy and the Constitution when he promises local government elections within one year and “the strengthening of the local government ministry to oversee local government bodies.”
The man seems blissfully unaware that that is the purview of the constitutionally required Local Government Commission which his party in Government has refused to establish and that Article 79 requiring Parliament to provide criteria for allocating resources to the regions has not been given effect to.
Despite our border problems with Chavez’s Venezuela and Bouterse’s Suriname, or the imperative to resile from Jagdeo’s excursions with Kuwait, Libya and Iran, Ramotar does not think that Foreign Policy deserves a mention in 43 pages.
But he dreams that in five years he can transform an education system – known as much for a few exceptions like Ms. Dev as for its drop-outs and the creation of a functionally illiterate population – into one that is “world class and globally competitive.”
That race and race relations for the PPP are the imagination of a few aging malcontents is evident from the failure of the Manifesto to recognise those issues or to acknowledge the International Year for People of African Descent.
One wonders whether the leaders of the private sector in attendance including Clinton Williams, Norman McLean, Ramesh Dookhoo and others noticed that nowhere is the private sector or the manufacturing sector mentioned in the Manifesto. Good for them.
But Labour, too, got no mention and one is left to wonder for how much longer the Jagdeo-Nadir $800 per day minimum wage will drive the pay policy of the PPP/C. No mention of the depressed communities or efforts to stamp out corruption or to integrate the corrupt elements in the informal economy into the tax-paying formal economy.
Governance, too, is treated by omission. And for a man who was nurtured into the ideologically obsessed Marxist PPP, Mr. Ramotar’s Manifesto does not even mention the model of economic philosophy which his Administration will pursue.
Whoever wrote the section of the Manifesto on Information and Communication Technology (page 22) must have been smoking something. How in Edghill’s heaven’s name can Guyana produce 25,000 high-quality jobs over the next five years in computer engineering and software development? Perhaps we will import them from India or China as we will do for our tourism hospital.
Women who make up 51% of the population, Children, the Elderly and the Family get one page in the Manifesto at page 36 that includes a commitment to a comprehensive review of the NIS.
The PPP/C mismanagement of the NIS under the chairmanship of Dr. Roger Luncheon for the past nineteen years has placed the NIS at grave risk with outflows far exceeding inflows – three years earlier than the 2006 Seventh Actuarial Study had feared.
And youth who make up 46% of the voters share one page with Sports and Culture, although culture is noticeably missing in the plans for the next five years.
One can draw analogies from Alice in Wonderland or Aesop’s Fables but perhaps the most appropriate assessment of the PPP/C manifesto was offered by their own former Minister Dr. Henry Jeffrey who told the nation on Plain Talk last Sunday that he could not vote for the PPP/C on the basis of this Manifesto.
McCoy taking notes from Navin Prashad, the son of Minister of Tourism, who was charged with causing the death of a University student, and that case just disappeared from the courts, then the case of another Office of the President official Nanda Gopal which wasn’t even investigated, and how can we forget about earlier this year when Alexei Ramotar, the son PPP Presidential Candidate Donald Ramotar ran down a man and got off, in fact the same investigating police officer got a big raise and promotion a few months after the incident. Then there is the policeman that was rundown by Minister Kellawan Lall, then once again nothing became of the other incident involving Kellawan Lall hitting down two people on a motorcycle. The PPP and their cronies commit crimes against the average Guyanese and no one is held accountable.
OCTOBER 26, 2011 | BY KNews | FILED UNDER News
“Just because he wukkin wid de President, he feel he could do whatever he like to people and de police can’t do he nothing.”
The words of an angry mother, whose 22-year-old daughter, Natalia Ross, was hospitalized overnight after she was allegedly run over by a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) driven by Information Liaison to President Bharat Jagdeo, Kwame McCoy.
Roxanne McKenzie is terribly upset that McCoy is apparently being allowed to get off scot-free for what she described a deliberate act.
“You know who is Kwame? De police can’t touch he!” exclaimed one of the eyewitnesses to the incident, which occurred around 00:15 hours yesterday on Robb Street near the junction with Albert Street. The victim has reportedly suffered severe concussions and bruises about her body.
This newspaper understands that the incident stemmed from an earlier altercation between volunteers from two major political parties over the erection of campaign material in Georgetown.
According to reports, volunteers from the ruling PPP/C were erecting posters on lamp posts along Regent Street when they were confronted by several persons who objected to the “obscuring of another party’s campaign material.”
This led to a heated argument and the PPP/C volunteers summoning McCoy.
The PPP/C volunteers subsequently went to Robb Street where they continued to carry out their duties and again another verbal confrontation ensured.
McKenzie, who was at a residence at Robb and Albert Streets, told this newspaper that her daughter Natalia Ross and her aunt were heading there from a party nearby when they observed the confrontation in front of their home.
“They were making joke with some boys who were putting up a plaque, telling them don’t knock de lantern post too hard because wood ants eating it out and it gon fall down…anyway, Mr. Kwame come up in me daughter and me sister face and start talking and busing,” McKenzie told Kaieteur News.
Ross, who was discharged from hospital yesterday afternoon, told this newspaper that she was jokingly warning the men against hammering on the post lest it caused a problem with the electricity to their house when McCoy intervened.
“He came up and told the men, ‘allyuh do me wuk because I paying y’all. Don’t bother with people.’ then he asked me if the lamp post is me own and I tell he ‘no is GPL own’,” Ross related.
She claimed that McCoy became more aggressive and began pointing his fingers in her aunt’s face, leading to Ross forcefully upbraiding him.
“I tell he talk but don’t touch and he tell me shut me mouth, I gon see wha gon happen to me, he gon show me he is who.”
The woman said that McCoy then left and went to his vehicle which was parked on the other side of the road.
“I really thought that he was going to his vehicle to call the police to come and arrest me, but then I see these two bright lights coming and that was it,” Ross recalled.
She never regained consciousness until three hours later at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
Her mother related that she too would have been struck down had she not jumped out of the way.
According to McKenzie, as her daughter lay sprawled on the parapet, McCoy drove away and returned a few minutes later, still “ranting and raving.”
“I tell he I gon call the media and he tell me he ain’t frighten dem, he does deal with dem everyday,” McKenzie stated.
By then the police had arrived and were so preoccupied with getting the injured woman to the hospital that they paid no attention to McCoy.
McKenzie then went to the Alberttown Police Station where she made a report.
Kaieteur News understands that McCoy has given the police no official report on the matter.
When contacted by this newspaper last evening, McCoy denied that he was involved in any incident that led to the woman receiving injuries.
“I don’t have no time with people and their ignorance. I am not going to be part of the PNC/APNU drama to stir up a confrontation,” McCoy said, adding that he will not be distracted from carrying out his work.
But when asked how the woman received injuries that caused her to be hospitalised, McCoy replied “my vehicle did not come into contact with anyone. My workers called me and told me that she, the woman, threw herself down and began screaming.”
“Did they tell you that she was drunk. I don’t care, I am surprised that you called me,” McCoy told a reporter from this newspaper.
This is not the first time that McCoy has been involved in an incident like this. He was previously accused of driving his vehicle on another woman during a protest action in the city.
He was never charged. He was also accused to have been in an incident which involved the damaging of a vehicle belonging to social activist Mark Benschop . The police have not yet taken any decisive action in that matter.
“I can’t understand this thing because you working with the government and nobody can’t say nothing. People could drive over you and talk up and go away and lef you lying down pon de parapet,” McKenzie told this newspaper.
“When he don knock down me daughter, he drive away and come back fuh bad up and buse. I was not afraid when he came back like he brandishing a gun because when I see me daughter lie down deh, I done say is best Kwame kill me, is only because he had a gun and he had he people with he. But I need justice fuh me daughter,” she added.
McKenzie said that words cannot explain how she is feeling now that the police appear to have taken no action.
“We de poor people is like nothing, because he wukkin in de government, he can do whatever he want to do to people. I don’t find that is right at all,” she stated.
According to the woman, the police appear to have already taken a position since she overheard an officer at the Alberttown Station saying that her daughter had walked into McCoy’s vehicle.
“Dis man got plenty power. He got more power than de president how dis man operate. Thank God he ain’t kill my daughter,” McKenzie stated.